While waiting on a snaking line for my mint tea in a Starbucks recently, I was impatient with all the people ahead of me ordering double this, spiced that, caramel whatever and Frappuccino blended whatnot. Why is ordering a cup of Joe so complicated?
In my workshop, one of the MOJO Makers™ I talk about is the beauty of simplicity. How we often make things so complex, it can work against us. Our calendars are busting at the seams – do we really need to fill in every minute? A meal can easily be comprised of dozens of ingredients – just because they’re on the Whole Foods salad bar doesn’t mean you need to eat them all at one sitting! Our tendency to multitask and juggle so many things at once – it’s a wonder if we feel like we’ve achieved anything at all!
In fact, recent studies show that multitasking doesn’t work, and that it actually “reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.”
Hmmmm, we’ll I guess that explains how I burnt myself out during my Ad Executive days!
But it goes beyond just managing numerous tasks at once.
I know successful, smart professionals who turn a simple request into a string of 10 email exchanges, resulting in confusion and lack of clarity on the response. (By the way, when that happens, pick up the phone please. My personal rule is three emails and I’m out!)
I have beautiful, intelligent, fun, sassy single women friends whose online dating profiles go into such detail, a potential mate would be exhausted reading the first sentence. Ladies, use it as an ad – hook ‘em with the highlights and they can learn about all your additional fabulous qualities while you get to know each other.
Sadly, I often see people weave such complicated webs, resulting in poor mental and physical well-being. I want to suggest right now: STOP! Literally -- take a moment to stop and consider: how can you reduce the unnecessary complexity that you’re adding to your life?
My yoga instructor calls this the “space between”. Those moments when you take a beat instead of run full speed ahead out of the starting gate the minute the alarm goes off. How can we make “space between” in our overly complicated worlds?
It’s like breaking up the fascia, that net of connective tissue found throughout the body. Your fascia gets stuck when you do excessive repetitive motions like sitting, and results in impairment to movement, circulation and lymphatic flow. Sort of like the impact that being overly complicated can have on our lives!
Let’s break it up! How can you simplify?
Please take five minutes to jot down three ways in which you can simplify your calendar/meals/to do list/etc., NOW. Please share them with me by commenting below.
As for me, I’m going to set aside time to step-away-from-the-computer periodically. You know, those time sucking superfluous excursions that take me from email to Facebook, to amazon.com to who knows where? No mass! I’m going to simplify the way I use my computer. And please feel free call me out on it!
I love this quote:
“Simplify, simplify” -- Henry David Thoreau
“Simplify” -- Apple
I look forward to seeing your responses!
Now I’m going to get simple mint tea!
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™
P.S. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day yesterday, and under the heading of “baby steps”, I’d like to share this quote:
"If you can’t fly, then run,
if you can’t run then walk,
if you can’t walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do,
you have to keep moving forward."
- Martin Luther King Jr.